The Shining star took up a job as a short order cook in New Jersey in between acting roles early in his screen career but became angry when a female client criticised his skills in the kitchen.
The three-time Oscar winner admits he has always struggled with anger management and regrets not learning how to deal with his temper earlier in life.
He tells Britain's The Sun, "One day, a woman came in to ask for pancakes and my pancake came out about three inches thick. She said, 'What the hell is this?' I lost my temper, hit the pancake and said, 'Make your own damn pancakes!'...
"Anger has always been a problem and every once in a while I just have to let it out. I always regret it later. After a couple of hours I calm down and think, 'What way could I have solved that problem other than blowing up?'
"I should have learned how to do that long ago and that would have made my life easier - with less apologising."